By Xinhua writer Ren Ke
BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Time is the best cure for public scandals. However, they will not be forgotten, and will in the end undermine the credibility of authorities when there are no investigation results to surface.
Several scandals have been reported in recent weeks, but one quickly disappeared from media spotlight as another came to its place.
The latest example is about an official named Fang Daguo, who allegedly beat up an airline stewardess and stirred public ire. Fang has not been seen in the media since he was suspended from post earlier this month.
The official's scandal was overshadowed by other events in recent days, particularly escalating tension between China and Japan after the Japanese government announced to "purchase" of part of the Diaoyu Islands.
The lack of follow-up reports almost makes it seems that the scandal never happened. However, it's quite short-sighted for local governments to use the public's short attention span as an opportunity to "end" the scandals without actually bringing them to closure.
Incomplete investigations signal the dysfunction of the country's accountability mechanism. A mature society and government will not forget old news, and the way the scandals are dealt with should not be influenced by the shift in the media and the public opinion.
China has formed a socialist system of law with Chinese characteristics over the past decades. Top Legislator Wu Bangguo says, such a system has generally solved the problem of establishing a lawful society, however, the problem of ensuring that laws are observed and strictly enforced and that lawbreakers are prosecuted has become more pronounced.
Scandals are only neglected by the people temporally, and will not be forgotten. When a similar scandal comes into the public's attention, people will find it easy to recall the previous ones.
Neglect on the part of authorities will not only deceive the public, but will also cover up problems that need to be addressed, and possibly the authorities will miss the best time to solve problems and improve their governance.
Therefore, responsible governments should face the scandals instead of sticking their heads in the sand.
Chinese netizens on Friday applauded the latest development of another widespread scandal involving a local work safety official.
Yang Dacai, a senior work safety official in Shaanxi Province who angered the public for smiling on the scene of a deadly accident, was stripped of his posts Friday.
Pictures surfaced showing him wearing 11 pricy wristwatches in different posts. Netizens found it hard to believe that Yang would be able to afford the watches on a public servant's salary and suspected him of corruption.
Yang has been out of public sight for half a month after the local disciplinary body vowed severe punishment if any corruption is discovered.
Better late than never, however, the governments should also strengthen their accountability mechanism, make more efforts to investigate violations of disciplines and laws instead of waiting the public to tell them to do so.